Tommy Tremble: Notre Dame TE the Latest “Baby Gronk”

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“Back in high school, I loved playing defense. They wouldn’t let me play defense and made me play offense. But, honestly, I just love contact. It’s pure passion for me. Every time I’m out on the field, I want to be dominant, and I try my best to.”

-Tommy Tremble

In one game, Tommy Tremble showed the versatility that could put him on track to be the next name on a long list of notable Notre Dame tight ends. 

In 2019, Tremble had flashes of brilliance, a hope of what was to come following the departure of now Chicago Bear, Cole Kmet. 

After spending 2018 on the scout team and rehabbing a gruesome ankle injury that ended his senior season of high school football after three games, Tremble finished 2019 with 16 catches for 183 yards and four touchdowns. 

Coming into 2020, it appeared he would be the starting tight end for the Irish offense, but he was listed second to Brock Wright for week one against Duke. While Brock Wright was the No. 1 tight end recruit in his class, he has yet to show anything close to Tremble’s explosiveness. 

There was also talk of true freshman Michael Mayer, nicknamed “Baby Gronk” since enrolling at Notre Dame. At 6’5″, 240 pounds, and wearing number 87, the nickname might be appropriate. Despite the fanfare, he’s still a freshman and will need to adjust to the college game’s speed. Head coach Brian Kelly noted that Mayer “got knocked down” a few times while blocking versus Duke. 

rob gronkowski

The dominance of Rob Gronkowski has led to a slew of “Baby Gronks” within both college and professional football. Chances are you can google your favorite NFL team, and the words “Baby Gronk” will pop up next to a name you may or may not know.

So far, there’s only one Rob Gronkowski, and he doesn’t have any children. But he does have brothers, some of which played in the NFL. 

It’s easy to overlook Tremble’s size since he was indeed undersized when he enrolled at Notre Dame in 2018. At 6’3″, 225 pounds, he looked more like a big receiver than an in-line tight end. But Tremble has put on the weight.

gronkowski-new-england-patriots

In his press conference, he said: “this year, I got all the way up to like 252 (pounds) at the end right before camp.”

Another star tight end in New England was 6’2″, 250 pounds, and he could play the position from the slot, in-line, and block. He even led the team in rushing while playing running back during a playoff game.

While it would be an uncouth comparison, he was immensely talented despite his off-field transgressions. 

Outside of the former New England Patriots tight end, there are not too many comparables for Tommy Tremble. Maybe that’s a good thing. 

Watching Tremble against USF was reminiscent of the scene in the movie version of Friday Night Lights, where star running back Boobie Miles’s uncle is raving about his nephew to anyone and everyone in the stands who is willing to listen. 

“He can block, tackle, score the touchdown, snap the ball, hold the snap, and kick the extra point. Hell, the boy will fill up the Gatorade cooler, walk the dog, and paint your back porch.” 

Tremble has yet to do all of the things Miles’s uncle described, but at the rate he’s going, he’s likely to do them all before the season ends. 

In the first quarter, he sealed the edge for running back Chris Tyree to score from one yard out. He also led Notre Dame in receiving with three catches for 60 yards – including receptions of 24 and 27 yards. Tremble would go on to finish the day with one rush for four yards, seeing a lit bit of action at the full back position. 

There’s often rhetoric around players having breakout games; the truth is no one knows when a player will break out until they arrive. On Saturday against USF, Tommy Tremble, star tight end, arrived. 

 

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